Sugar is the one and only cause of dental decay. A fact that is often overlooked in the debate about a sugar tax.
In the media we often focus on the link between sugar consumption and obesity. This is somewhat misleading, as obesity is caused by excessive intake of calories and/or a lack of exercise. It is not necessarily related to sugar.
Even a moderate intake of sugar is potentially harmful to teeth, as it is the FREQUENCY of intake rather than the quantity that is the crucial factor in causing dental disease.
The former chair of the think tank Reform Scotland, Ben Thomson has called for a sugar tax to pay for a proposed 2p cut in income tax in Scotland, reckoning such a tax could raise £660m per year.
Some members of the dental profession have responded that this tax could instead be used to fund NHS dentistry in Scotland, using the argument that since the consumption of refined sugar is the primary cause of dental disease, this would be in keeping with the principle that ‘the polluter pays’.